Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Singapore food log, day 3: photo catchup

The taro bun I had yesterday actually had something rather interesting to say:

which I actually find rather depressing, instead.

Nor do I think the turtles would feel that lucky:

I saw this add for a drink which I didn't dare try:

It made me think. Not only doesn't grapefruit "go" with coffee and chocolate, it doesn't really go with anything. Grapefruit is The Flavor That Walks Alone. Think about it. Grapefruit 'n' cream. Ribs in grapefruit BBQ sauce. Grapefruit/strawberry souffle. Not happening.

Here's a small picture of the first (Indonesian) lunch I had; it's tiny because I took a movie instead of a picture by accident. The plot left a lot to be desired.

For lunch today, we had dimsum at a place inside the convention center. It was all-you-can-eat but you ordered from a menu (except for dessert, which was actually on a buffet). This made it all very fresh and it was quite good. I don't think these guys were on the menu, but they were shilling on a table outside:

They weren't labeled but I bet they were called Lucky Ducks.

Went back to the Egyptian street place near the hotel for a late dinner. I wanted to try something called Harissa, which I thought was a sort of relish but they told me was a ground-meat dish with honey and cinammon on it. Those who know me know I would gladly put honey and cinammon on a hamburger if I had an ethnic authority for it. But this stuff turned out to have not so much hamburger consistency, but was kind of.....gooey. And greasy. I wanted to get through half of it to stand up to the waitress's initial skepticism, but I couldn't do it.


At 9:05 AM, Blogger donna said...

Grapefruit makes a good stand-alone shampoo 'flavor'. Oh yes, and a good flavor for those little Parisian jelly squares...

At 11:59 AM, Anonymous killerbee said...

oh my!...a goopy, sweet dish even YOU couldn't get half way through...

At 4:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harissa has two identities in Claudia Roden's "The Book of Jewish Food, an Odessy from Samarkand to New York." (I love the "Samarkand to New York.") One identity is a North African Chili and Garlic Sauce. (The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook had a very similar recipe.)

Claudia describes the other harissa in a box on page 440 with no definite recipe:


Lucie Bolens writes in La Cuissine Andolouse et l'Art de Vivre ... that harissa -- a porridge of pounded wheat and chopped meat was eaten by Jews on Saturday in medieval Spain, were it was wildey popular and sold by vendors in the street. It was meant to be two-thirds wheat and one-third meat. Vendors cheated by adding red clay to make it appear as though there were more meat while souk inspectors went around checking. It was cooked so long that the meat fell apart, then served with melted fat poured over and with sprinklings of cinnamon. This soft, creamy porridge, which represented the best [!!] of Andulusian cooking in the thirteenth century, was of Persiam Sassanian origin. Another dish also called 'harrisa' was rice with chicken or mutton left to cook overnight, then pounded and mashed to a cream and served with mutton fat and cinnamon."

There is more to the discussion, including a mention of sugar used in Baghdad, but I think we get the general picture.

(My maternal grandmother, whom I never met, had relatives in Jewish Tunesia. I have photos, fez and all.)


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